I Visited The World’s Biggest Watch Fair: Here Are The Five Watches I Would Buy

The pick of the litter.

I Visited The World’s Biggest Watch Fair: Here Are The Five Watches I Would Buy

Watches & Wonders is the consolidation of Baselworld and SIHH watch fairs which shut up shop in 2019. We get down and dirty to highlight the timepieces that wowed us and deserve our hard-earned money.

Geneva, Switzerland – After 24 hours of travel we find ourselves on the shores of Lake Geneva at Watches & Wonders 2023. The world’s best brands are all on show here: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier and many more, including a number of smaller independent brands. The week has been spent walking and talking to the press and brands to get a feel of where the industry is going for 2023 and beyond.

Regardless of what the future hold for watches, it’s important to know where consumers will be spending their money now. More importantly, where we would spend our money… If it were no object.

Hermès H08 Monopusher Chronograph

This is the watch that we all collectively went “wow” for. The Hermès H08, which was first introduced at Watches & Wonders in 2021, has been one of the most underrated sports watches on the market. Now, in 2023, Hermès has introduced a speccy new chronograph version that’s both understated and eye-catching in equal measures.

Firstly, check out that colour scheme: it’s the iconic Hermès orange, which is perfect for a sports watch. The design is super cool, too. Very 70s. The case is very 2020s, though: it’s a composite of carbon fibre and graphene powder. Monopusher chronographs are a bit unusual; this is Hermès flexing their chops and showing that they’re capable of making proper watches.

And, while AU$23,600 isn’t a small amount of money, it’s actually very competitive for a Swiss-made monopusher – especially one made from carbon fibre and offered by one of the best-known luxury maisons in the world. I’d buy this in a heartbeat.

IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur

WATCH our lifestyle editor Jamie share a closer look at the new Ingenieur below.

The Ingenieur has long been a staple of IWC Schaffhausen, which interestingly was the watch that got me interested in the brand over 12 years ago. Since then, the model had been put to one side while the brand focused on its many pilot’s watch releases.

In 2023, IWC has gone back and given this Gérald Genta-designed timepiece a well-deserved refresh. A new movement, updated design, textured dial and a range of materials and colours make this one of our favourite releases of 2023.

Most interesting is the ‘aqua’ dial version with its two-tone polished and satin-brushed bracelet. Probably not the first option for most, but a unique approach to using colour outside of the usual green or blue.

At AU$17,300, it will be too punchy for some, however, it’s a great everyday watch which you would get tonnes of wear from.

Tudor Black Bay 54

It’s hard to believe that Tudor launched the Black Bay only in 2012 – it feels like it’s been around forever. It’s an absolute fan favourite. Speaking of fan favourites, though, the Black Bay 54 is a subtle new take on the iconic retro dive watch that’s sure to get fans’ mouths watering… Or maybe that’s just us.

Tudor has gotten ahead of the curve with this one: after years of big case sizes being in vogue, we’re seeing a swing back to smaller case sizes. The BB54’s shrunk-down 37mm case size is ready to capitalise on that.

The retro-inspired bezel numerals and gold highlights are a nice touch… This thing is just so damn wearable. We also don’t know how Tudor does it for the money: for under AU$6,000, it’s a real contender.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph

Now if you’re in the market for a dress watch but find yourself on the edge, then the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph could just be your solution.

Available in either rose gold or stainless steel, they’ve taken their classic Reverso and given it a chronograph – but in typical JLC style, it’s not your typical chrono. Rather than clutter up a single dial with subdials and extra hands, one side of the watch just tells the time and the other is a dedicated chronograph.

That chronograph side’s eye-catching skeletonised dial is real haute horlogerie stuff… But if you need a more formal look, you can flip the watch back over and keep it hidden. Have your cake and eat it too.

Chopard High-Frequency Calibre Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF

I’ve long been a fan of the Chopard Alpine Eagle. Luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets are all the rage right now, and the Alpine Eagle is the cream of the crop, in my opinion. This high-beat take on the thing is particularly nice.

You might think it’s made out of steel but actually, it’s made out of titanium – you’d never know, looking at that mirror polish on its centre links. Its butter-smooth 8Hz movement is super fun to watch, and that black dial with subtle orange accents is killer.

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